The term ‘digital nomad’ gets thrown around all too often these days.
Whenever you hear the term, a few images may come to mind?
Laptop open on your lap as you soak in the sun and respond to the occasional email while a beautiful waitress serves you cocktails…
Sounds amazing right?
The truth is, the reality of what a digital nomad actually does is very different.
For a start, you can’t even see your laptop screen in direct sunlight…
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What Is A Digital Nomad?
A digital nomad is anyone who can work remotely and chooses to live abroad or travel while they work.
With jobs and work opportunities heading more in the digital direction, it’s becoming increasingly common for people of all ages and backgrounds to live the digital nomad lifestyle.
Although the lifestyle seems dreamy, digital nomads do spend a great deal of their time actually working!
While this may come as a surprise (especially when compared to what you see on Instagram), most people working online will be putting in many hours in front of a screen.
Or, if you end up like me and tutor English online, you’re getting up at 4 am to teach on weekends…
That’s more the reality.
So, Why Would You Become A Digital Nomad?
So if you still have to work lots of hours, get up at crazy times and stare at a screen for so long, why one earth would you want to become a digital nomad?
Well, It’s a good question and one that I ask myself frequently.
Short answer – It’s because of freedom.
The beauty of being a digital nomad is that you can be wherever you want to be, you can live wherever you want in the world or choose to travel from place to place, all while being able to make money.
The first step is having a job you can do anywhere.
Then as you improve and develop your skills, you want to then have more time to enjoy your surroundings and eventually have the financial freedom to earn higher amounts of money.
We’re going to learn about the different types of freedom, later in this post but for now let’s take a look at what you can do to become a digital nomad right now, from the second you stop reading his article.
In this post, you’re going to learn;
- Step by step to becoming a digital nomad with no skills
- How to use/learn skills that will allow you to become a digital nomad
- The 3 types of freedom
How Do I Start a Digital Nomad Career? | Step by Step
Ok, so here’s what to do if you want to become a digital nomad with no skills, from today…
1. Start Teaching English…
Did you know there are online platforms that allow you to teach English online with no experience and no skills?
I know, it blew my mind when I found out too!
For me, this was my first introduction to any kind of online work and if you’re a native English speaker (and don’t mind a chat) it is by far the easiest way you can start making money online right now.
Although there are many different companies that you can tutor for, many of them require a TEFL certificate (which is well worth doing if you want to teach English full time eventually).
However, one company that requires no experience or qualifications is Cambly.
I have worked for Cambly for the last 8-10 months and it has been the major thing that has allowed me to stop doing ‘normal’ boring traveling jobs like fruit picking and labouring.
It’s unlikely you’ll get rich from tutoring on Cambly, as the pay isn’t super high (around 8 USD per hour average), but if you commit to doing it full time you can definitely get by and pay your way with it.
If I complete a relatively full week of tutoring I can earn around $200-250 USD from doing so.
If you want to read more about how Cambly works, check out the full breakdown of how you can teach English online with no experience.
Or check out Cambly here, if you want to get stuck in now.
2. Other Jobs That Require Little To No Skills
In addition to online English teaching, there are a number of other jobs that you can do online that don’t require any skills.
Although these are jobs that I haven’t personally done, as I would rather spend my time developing other skills, they are definitely jobs that people do and make a living with online.
Some of these jobs include;
- Data Entry
- Social Media Manager
- Digital Assistant
- Micro Tasking
All of these jobs you can do with little to no experience and are well worth looking into if you like the sound of any of them.
However, some of these jobs will require some sort of skill set…
For example, for translation, you’ll need a great understanding of two languages.
Whereas with transcription you’re going to need amazing listening skills and the ability to touch type.
Top Tip – Touch typing is a really useful skill with whatever you’re doing online and there’s a cool website you can practice on, called Typing Club.
3. Build & Develop New Skills
I think realistically if you want to become a full-time digital nomad with a good lifestyle and the ability to make good money, you’re going to have to learn and build up some skills.
Although putting time and effort into learning skills isn’t going to get you paid right now, it’s going to allow you to do so in the future.
I think adults in general, myself included, tend to stop learning after they leave school, so if you can break out of that mindset and put some serious effort into learning an online-based skill, in a few years or even months from now, you’ll have that skill loaded in your arsenal!
Some of the skills you could learn include;
- Web Design
- Video Editing
- Photo Editing
- Graphic Design
- Language Skills
- Software Specific Skills
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media Marketing & Management
All the skills listed above are well worth learning in 2021 and once you are able to perform a task in any of these areas, you’re going to be in an amazing position as a digital nomad.
From here, you could set up your own business, become a freelancer or work for thousands of different companies that need people with your exact skill set.
Before diving into anything though, I would highly advise researching each skill and finding out which one you would ACTUALLY enjoy doing.
Enjoying your remote job is super important and is unfortunately often overlooked by many digital nomads.
You don’t want to be in an amazing part of the world but have to spend large portions of your time doing something you hate. That would be pointless.
Whereas if you can find a skill you actually enjoy, you’re not only going to want to learn more about it and improve, you’ll actually be getting paid to do something you love, from wherever you are in the world.
In my eyes, once you have that, you’ve completed the digital nomad lifestyle…
What skills DO you have right now?
You may already have some of the above skills, so why not start utilising them?
Once you get your first gig as a freelancer on one of these sites, you’ll be able to add the work to your portfolio and go from there. The more great work you can produce for people, the more others will want you to do the same for them.
4. Put Yourself In The Right Place
So where would you actually like to live as a digital nomad?
There are many digital nomad hotspots around the world right now, with some popular destinations including Bali, Thailand, Mexico & Portugal.
Where you go is completely up to you but you want to be living somewhere that both;
- Allows you to work easily (good wifi, workspaces & facilities)
- Is affordable according to your income potential
For example, if you’re at the beginning of your remote work journey, your income potential probably isn’t very high (if you’re anything like me anyway), so it means you’ll have to choose your destination carefully.
If you only have the potential to earn $200 dollars or so a week, your first destination shouldn’t be somewhere like Hawaii or Tahiti, which if you’ve been to either you’ll know are both stupidly expensive!
Instead, look for destinations that are affordable and easy to work in…
South-East Asia & South America would be two great areas to start exploring.
For me, my destination choices are largely based on the world’s best surf towns but after my time in Australia, my next destination will be Central & South America).
The 3 Types of Freedom
I came across an awesome youtube video the other day, which I can now no longer find for whatever reason.
But the video described the three types of freedom you can have when it comes to being a digital nomad.
Achieving all three won’t just happen overnight and to master all of them takes years of learning and developing your skills.
But you gotta start somewhere right?
You’ve already achieved the first one from reading this post…
This is the ability to work anywhere in the world.
Basically any job you can do from your laptop and a decent internet connection.
P.S – You already have this right now if you start tutoring english right away!
This means, if you’ve got a job with a contract that requires a certain amount of hours or you have to be at your laptop at certain times of day, you don’t have time freedom.
In addition to this, the amount of hours you need to work in order to maintain your lifestyle is pretty important.
There’s no point being in an amazing part of the world if you have to work 10 hours per day 7 days a week!
Referring to how much money you earn or have the potential to.
Can you earn enough to do the things you want? Can you afford to go on that snorkel trip or go for that cocktail out?
Having financial freedom will only come with putting time into developing your skills and working towards bigger and better jobs.
How To Become a Digital Nomad Summary
I hope this post has inspired you to become a full time digital nomad.
If you can start being a digital nomad right now by teaching English online, you’ll have already achieved what you came to this post to learn.
From there, it’s then a matter of learning new skills and building on existing ones.
Everything you do from now on should be working towards achieving the digital nomad lifestyle and the 3 types of freedom.
You already have the geographical freedom, now it’s all about getting the time and financial freedom sorted.
Happy tutoring and happy learning.